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{sigh} Yesterday was the 6 month anniversary of Robert’s death ~ he was 14 1/2 months old when he died. The past 6 months seem more like a year. I thought time dragged on when my husband Joe was deployed in Iraq, but that flew by in comparison to this. Not a day goes by that I don’t think to myself “Oh no, I forgot Robert at home.”

Or I look in the backseat of the truck & my heart stops because I think “I lost Robert in the store!!!”

Then I realize that he’s gone.

I flash back to the moment I found him laying so still in his crib, I knew in my heart he was already gone. There was nothing I could do.

6 months ago was the hardest day of my life.

Harder than saying goodbye to my husband while I was 9 months pregnant as he drove off on a bus late at night to get on a plane to go to war.

Harder than the day I had to go to the hospital, alone, straight from my OB appointment because they couldn’t find Robert’s heart beat.

Harder than the day Robert was born and the phone connection Joe was on in Iraq sucked and I couldn’t hear him half the time.

Harder than giving birth to Robert, without an epidural because he came so quick it didn’t take.

Harder than the 9 months I was home alone with 3 kids and a husband who was at war and having near misses at death almost everyday.

At 7:55 am on Sunday December 14, 2008 I went to get Robert up and ready for church. I picked my baby up out of his crib and I knew he was dead. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t. Brianna was in our bedroom watching Playhouse Disney. She couldn’t know what was happening. I carried Robert into the living room, called 911 and pleaded for help.

I gave my baby CPR, knowing it was useless, waiting for what seemed like hours for the police to arrive, it was barely 3 minutes.

I handed Robert to the first officer through the door who actually was in Joe’s unit. He took Robert and another officer and paramedics came in. They tried to work on him, but I knew from the words they were saying it was too late. As soon as I had handed Robert to them I called Joe’s cell phone. He didn’t answer and I didn’t know where he was.

He had left at 4:45 am to take Kameryn to his hockey game. Joe’s phone was ringing, but then I realized, that I didn’t know what to say. I handed my phone over to another officer and said, “I can’t tell my husband. You have to talk to him.” I don’t know what he said, but thank God Joe was only around the corner. Joe barreled through the front door to find me sitting on the floor, sobbing.

Joe called his family to come over and they were at my house within minutes. I couldn’t get in touch with my parents, but finally, my best friend Heather and the police went to my parents’ house to tell them.

All I wanted was to get to the hospital to be with Robert but I had to answer questions. Joe called his LT at work, his 1Sgt from the unit. “God, we need to get to the hospital. Why are we still here?” was that all I could think.

Finally, they let us leave for the hospital.

They took us into a waiting room where we had to wait while person after person from the hospital and police talked to us. Thankfully, not long after we got to the hospital so did numerous people from Joe’s unit, our church, and people from Joe’s work. I was so overwhelmed by how many people came to help us. Much of the rest of the day at the hospital is still a blur. I remember pits and pieces of those hours but mainly I just remember being numb.

My Robert was dead.

What had happened? All the questions the coroner was asking me, that I had to tell the detective the same things I had told the police at the house, I just wanted to see my baby. “When can I see Robert?”

Finally, Joe & I could see him. Our sweet baby boy. All I wanted to do was lay next to him, my head next to him, smelling his hair. Bubby had the best hair, he was supposed to get a hair cut on Friday. I just rubbed his hair with one hand & held Joe’s with the other. Kissing my baby’s head, tears wetting it.

That is how I spent the day 6 months ago